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[ female announcer ] fight 7 signs of aging flawlessly. cc what's possible. right now a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports." we are live in london as secretary of state john kerry kicks off his first overseas trip, but his debut on the world stage is already facing a challenge over how to deal with syria. as rebel leaders threaten to boycott a key meeting this week in rome. >> mr. secretary, why should the syrian opposition leaders want to meet in rome or at other international meetings given the fact that they have not gotten the help they've sought? >> they should come and meet because, in fact, countries have been helping them and because we are precisely meeting to determine how to help president assad change the calculation on the ground.
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>> and with only four days before automatic budget cuts, the sequester, the new secretary of state tries to reassure u.s. embassy employees. >> i will do everything in my power to go to capitol hill and persuade my colleagues of the vitality, criticality of everything we're doing here. >> in washington president obama is increasing the pressure speaking just now to the nation's governors. >> here's the thing. these cuts do not have to happen. congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise. >> this weekend republican governors had their say. >> the uncertainty of sequestration is really harming our states and our national economy. >> the sequester was put in place to be a hammer, not a policy, and now here we are just a week away. find another way to do it, and get it done now. >> arizona. we have raphion there.
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it's going to cut a lot of jobs. >> vatican intrigue. new controversy surface as the pope permits an earlier start for the conclave to choose his successor. and the oscar goes to ben affleck. scoring gold with "argo" as first lady michelle obama stuns with a surprise special appearance from the white house. >> i am so honored to help introduce this year's nominees for best picture and to help celebrate the movies that lift our spirits, broaden our minds, and transport us to places we have never imaged. this has been an exciting year for movies, and i want to congratulate all the nominees on their tremendous work. >> good day. i am andrea mitchell live in london today. secretary of state john kerry is trying to salvage a key meeting with syrian rebels. they are threatening to boycott the session in rome because the united states and europe have refused to give them arms and
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other critical aid. kerry took time in london today to call a key rebel leader and all but plead with him to show up. joining us for our daily fix chris calizza and managing editor of post politics.com. steve clemons, editor at large for "the atlantic" and david rothcoff, editor at large of fp group. welcome all. first to you, chris. this is the first trip by the new secretary of state, and already he's facing a real rebellion from the syrian rebels. they are saying no more international conferences. they, we are told, are really pressured by the fighters on the ground who are seeing horrendous loss of life and also some recent gains, and want to know why are you leaders going to fancy hotels and meeting at these summits in europe when we need help now? >> this is, andrea -- i'm not telling you anything you don't know, but this meeting in rome was supposedly the centerpiece of what is sort of a whirlwind trip nine countries for secretary of state kerry, so
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this was the piece that was, i think, designed to show him on the world stage in a way to show the u.s.'s power to sort of bring about change. the problem here -- and this is not new -- is that foreign policy and other countries do not -- are not necessarily operating on the same schedule as we many america are. that is, john kerry would love this meeting to happen sxb able to kind of flex his diplomatic muscle, but, as we are seeing at least at the moment, that many people within the syrian rebel group don't view that as beneficial to them and their interests in the country. >> and what he and also william hague were sort of foreshadowing today, the foreign secretary here, is that there does have to be some change. in fact, the brits have been pushing for this very hard. this is what secretary kerry had to say about whether or not the policy is going to change and we're going to do more for the rebels. zoog. >> i want our friends in the
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syrian opposition kuns council to know that we are not coming to rome simply to talk. we are coming to rome to make a decision about next steps and perhaps even other options that may or may not be discussed further after that. we are determined that the syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind wondering where the support is or if it's coming. >> so steve clemons, look at the situation. he is going to berlin. is he in the air right now flying to berlin. he is going to meet with the russians. the russians have made no secret of the fact that they are propping up assad. yet, the rebels have made key advances. we've seen, you know, huge fighting around damascus. where do you see this going without any change in russia's policy? >> well, i think that one has to look back and remember that hillary clinton had exactly the same experience with the rebels in libya. there was a period of time where
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the rebels used every meeting as a potential negotiating ploy for what they wanted to extract from britain, france, and the united states, and you also have, i would say, greater diversity in the syrian opposition and more inconsistencies in the broad syrian opposition than you even had in libya. libya was not great. what we're seeing is standard fare. it's not anything unusual. i think where it goes is that john kerry is going to go in and, you know, basically offer a lot of resolve, perhaps more posturing, but the syrian knot continues to be something that i think that the president wants to remain from being deeply engaged in, and i don't think he is going to turn the switch on for heavy arms transfers to the opposition, so i suspect more of the same with a little bit more toughing rhetoric that assad needs to leave, but when it comes to what the syrian rebels most want, nothing really new. >> let me share, david, you know john kerry well. you all do. you've watched him in the senate.
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for this job for which he has prepared all his life, this was john kerry on the plane talking without being on the record, but talking to us about just how it feels to now be the secretary of state and taking this trip. others on the plane talked to us about just how tough these issues are. syria foremost, but iran and others, just as difficult for him to try to untangle. david. >> i think that, you know, you become secretary of state, you think you're going to drive u.s. foreign policy. the reality is the rest of the world drives u.s. foreign policy, and he is seeing that here on his first trip. the fact that he is going to this meeting has been used as a negotiating point, and he is going to have to react to the initiatives of other people. i think in all likelihood the highest post that he has held is going to be rather humbling experience for him for a while. >> and i wanted to ask steve clemons also about chuck hagel because we expect a vote
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tomorrow now even very close to hagel and asking for him to be confirmed. they suggested last week the white house that he did have the votes with richard shelby, a republican saying that he has endorsed him, that he at least stops the filibuster and gets a final confirmation sometime this week. >> we now have about 66 votes. not all of them declared to basically call on cloture, and they have well over the number of needed of majority votes, including richard shelby, potentially lisa murkowski, but she hasn't declared where she is on hagel per se. this looks like it will go forward. we're all expecting this vote to take place tomorrow afternoon. probably get e yet again during your show, andrea. if ted cruise and jim inhoff want to drag this out to the furthest possible end, they could call 30 more hours of debate and the vote could take place on wednesday. >> chris, now we have the
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sequester. only four days away. no sign of progress. the governor's role there, very strong republican governors, you some real rising political republican stars within their party. they in the president's house and no sign of any accord on what to do to bridge these gaps. >> no. you know, andrea, it feels like everybody saying this is a terrible thing. this was put in place so that we wouldn't do it, but no one actually doing anything meaningful. both sides are doing things, but they're doing things in the sense that they're saying, well, we pass this or propose this, knowing that there's -- having done those things does not offer a path forward, but, andrea, i'm interested to see -- i'm almost certain it happens. i can't imagine it not happening at this point. i'm interested to see this period march 2nd to march 31 post-sequester pre-continuing resolution and potential government shutdown. given how far apart the two parties seem to be about the right way forward on debt and spending issues, tax reform, tax increases, cutting spending, can
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they finish it? can they find some common ground in those 28 or so days? that to me is even more concerning. >> chris and david and, of course, the atlantic's steve clemons, thank you all for joining me. with us now for more on the foreign policy challenges and obstacles facing secretary kerry, dianne feinstein. thank you very much, senator, for being with us. >> you're welcome. >> your former colleague has left -- he has left one difficult job and taken on perhaps a far more difficult job. here he is traveling and facing a critical meeting with syria, and they are trying to use whatever leverage they can. should the president now reconsider the u.s. policy and do something more than nonlethal aid? should he consider a no-fly zone? >> not necessarily. i think what john kerry is doing is the right thing. he's getting his feet wet and fact finding on the ground. he is touching base with our
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major allies in europe, with turkey, and then iffing into the middle east. i think his assessment on the position of assad is critical is assad willing to accept some negotiations to leave the country? is assad going to depart for the alaawhite areas and have a concentrated domain there? what is likely to happen in syria is important. i'm not one that is for giving heavy arms to -- in the middle of what is effectively a civil war because i suspect those arms will crop up another day and could well kill americans, and that worries me a great deal. i have a great deal of faith in secretary kerry. he is skilled. he is effective. he's got the standing. in my view, he is the best of the united states. sfoo let me ask you about a couple of other foreign policy challenges.
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china during the last couple of days we've seen this report last week. very well regarded confirmed report that has actually traced china's seeber attacks back to a military unit in shanghai, and that is only one part of it according to although experts we've talked to in and outside of government. what should the u.s. do in reaction? >> well, i'm very concerned. i read the report. i've also read our reports classified out of intelligence, and i think the mendient report which is now unclassified, is public, is essentially correct. i think china has to face up to it. i think our government needs to sit down with china forth with, present the evidence to china, ask china for its investigation, and press, press, press. this is going to no good end unless there is some agreement between our two nations and the
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world committee -- community for an agreement which is enforceable. one of these days there is going to be a huge cyber attack somewhere, and we must prevent that from happening. >> we're not without crisis. how about afghanistan? in the last 24 hours we've heard from president karzai saying that u.s. unit have to get out of wardock province within two weeks because of what they're affiliated afghan forces have allegedly done. what should the u.s. do about that? >> well, what i just heard is that the reports are not correct, and that the military is investigating. so i would sort of like to hold my fire and wait and see what actually is correct and not correct. >> let me just ask you. your information that those reports were not correct, are those from official sources? in other words, have you been briefed on this? >> from my intelligence staff.
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that's the source. >> that's understood. that's exactly why i wanted to talk to you about it. finally, guns. we've been waiting on multiple fronts for some action. you've been a leader on this issue against gun violence. we are hearing at least from the other side from people working in a bipartisan way on the republican side that we're not close to an agreement on a bipartisan approach, and here the national rifle association's wayne lapierre over the weekend out west was really going after you personally. let me play that. >> i've been amazed, just amazed, at how rapidly this debate deteriorated from what is proven to work to what is proven to be the political agenda of those bent on attacking the second amendment to our constitution. dianne feinstein herself commented that she's had her gun
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ban legislation on her desk for over a year waiting for the right time to introduce it. >> what would you like to say back to wayne la pierre? >> what i said is that we have been working on this for a year. it's a rather complicated piece of legislation because it exempts 2,200 hunting, sporting weapons by make and model, and that took some work of staff and consultation with real gun experts to be sure that we could be correct on all counts, so it wasn't a bill just quickly slapped together. it had some thoughtful consideration. we have a hearing coming up wednesday. we have a number of witnesses. i think we will make the case that this is constitutional. i think we will make the case that these weapons do not belong on the streets of our cities, that many of the parts of these weapons make them into weapons that are specifically designed
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to kill large numbers of people in close conflict. i don't really expect to agree with much that mr. lapierre says. of course, he has the right to say it, and i have the right to do this. i've tried to do it carefully. we have 22 co-sponsors. i recognize it's an uphill battle. i also know that these events are iffing to continue, and america has to step up. the mothers, the women, the men of america have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare. grievance killers look for these weapons. these weapons are easy to obtain. there are no background checks. you can buy them out of a back of a car. at a gun show. america's laws are virtually nonexistent, and, therefore, i
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think this is a good bill. i intend to fight. i did it once before. if it doesn't get done right now, be assured i will continue to press the case. >> senator, do you think you're getting enough support from the white house on this, or are they beginning to think that they can maybe try for background checks but not to try for the assault weapon ban because it is that much tougher? >> well, it might surprise you, andrea. our support is very broad. the white house has been very good. they've been very clear. i think we've got all the police. we have all the mayors virtually. the conference of mayors. mayors against gunsz. we have medical experts. we have virtually dozens of religious organizations, of every creed supporting us. we have just lists and lists.
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i put together a little booklet that contains the basics on the bill as well as a list of the endorsers, so we will be making our arguments. it's very difficult to go against the nra because it's volatile, the assault one. we are making our arguments, and i hope america will stand up and say just one thing. enough is enough. >> senator dianne feinstein, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> always good to see you. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you. >> up next, michigan senator debbie stabenow on the real life costs of the looming budget cuts. still ahead, the pope's abdication. we'll preview the conclave. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" live from london only on msnbc. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues.
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in just four days congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary automatic budget cuts to kick in that will slow our economy, eliminate good jobs and leave a lot of folks who are already pretty thinly stretched scrambling to figure out what to do. >> the president is trying to put pressure on congress by highlighting, of course, how painful the budget cuts are going to be state by state. in michigan alone the white house now expects a $22 million cut in public education fund and another $20 million in cuts to programs that help children with disabilities. michigan senator debbie stabeno now chairs of agriculture and forestry commission and joins from you capitol hill. let's talk about the sequester because some would say doesn't
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congress and the white house both have only itself to blame for coming up with this plan which was to consider cuts that were too awful to even be contemplated and that day has come with no agreement? >> well, andrea, first of all, i think it's important to back up and look at the fact that we need to come to total agreement on a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. $2.5 trillion of it we've already agreed to, and why is that important? because 80% of it is cuts, 20% of it done at the end of the year to ask the wealthy to do a little bit more. but the 80% has been focused on cutting those things that go directly to the middle class. middle class families and the vulnerable. so now when we look at what needs to be done, what we're saying is we have to have a balanced approach. that's why we've put together something in the senate that would cut things that we would agree need to be cut, but also ask the wealthy and the well connected to do a little bit
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more. that's what this process was supposed to be about from the very beginning. >> senator, if there is a need for real entitlement cuts for down the road not triggered right away, but for changes in medicare down the road because health is the single biggest component in the explosion of the deficit, what would you be your response? you represent people who are very dependent on medicare, social security, and other entitlements. >> well, first of all, medicare and social security are great american success stories, and i support making sure they remain strong for the future. we've already begun to make changes that are actually lowering costs, without lowering benefits. part of that health reform. we've seen medicare advantage premiums go down 7%. the budget office just indicated about a 2% reduction in what they project in medicare and medicaid because of a number of
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things, but part of that being changes we've already made, so there's more we can do, frankly, under a medicare. we have to allow them to negotiate prescription drug prices just like the veterans administration does for veterans, and we could bring down prices by having group discounts. there's a lot we can do while maintaining and strengthening medicare for the future. >> would you consider changing the retirement or the eligibility age, i should say, for medicare? >> no. >> or any aspect of -- okay. glad to know. >> the reason i jump in so quickly. let me just say why. it doesn't save money. it costs more money. medicare is the most efficient health care insurance plan that we have today, and there are many economists that say we would actually save dollars if more people were able to operate under medicare, be able to receive medicare while we are
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finding cost containment measures. i absolutely support cost containment measures, but that does not mean creating a situation where it's a voucher. you know, the republicans basically want to say go find private insurance. we'll give you a voucher to help cover it. that will increase costs as well as lowering health care for seniors. other proposals that they have that don't lower costs, but just take away medicare, make no sense. we've put in place things that, in fact, will begin to bring down costs and we need to do that. >> senator, take me through how you envision the next couple of days going. march 1st, the sequester hits, and these budget cuts begin to be felt. people will be furloughed, people in michigan will feel the impact. perhaps not immediately, but as the days progress. what is going to then get people to the bargaining table? the threat of the continuing resolution expiring at the end of march, or will that be
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another debtedline that comes and passes? >> well, andrea, i think that the first thing is we need to come up with an alternative -- pass an alternative that's much more balanced, and that's what we're going to attempt to do here in the senate. senate democrats will put this forward. whether we're get any republican support, i don't know. this would have an alternative to cuts that would take place this year between now and january. half of that would be by cutting loopholes that only benefit the wealthy and the well connected. the other half would be spending cuts. part of that -- half of that in agriculture where we would -- rather than -- i would rather have a farm bill and take the saving from our farm bill, but given the fact that that's not been passed by the house and we've not seen the action there, we take a piece that can't be justified, direct payments, and say we're not going to help farmers that don't need help, but we will help farmers that do through disaster assistance.
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we put together a balanced approach. small amount of cuts around defense that are connected with phasing out of afghanistan. it's much more responsible. people should be supporting that. we could come together. that would give us time between now and the end of the year to do the rest of it, which is looking at how we reach together that $4 trillion number. >> senator stabbenow, thank you for joining us. >> right now at the white house at the briefing room janet napolitano, homeland security secretary talking about the bakt of the budget cuts. >> priorities as best we can, but no amount of planning can mitigate the negative affects of sequestration. as we approach the 1st of march, i join with all of my other colleagues and with the governors who we just heard outside to ask the congress to prevent sequestration in order to maintain the safety and
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security and resiliency of the country. thank you. >> thanks. questions for the secretary? yes? >> secretary, you were talking about reduced hours of border patrol and reduced personnel at the nation's ports. are you saying that the nation will be less secure at the border and at the ports as a result of the cuts? >> no. what we're going to have to do in terms of -- at the actual ports of entry, we're going to have to continue to check for contra band, for potential terrorists and the like. passengers as well as containers and other cargo, so the procedures will be the same, but we'll have fewer people able to do that. so the lines are going to get longer. between the ports, we are going to see a reduction in border patrol resources between the ports of entry, so it's really a very -- as i said last weekend at a hearing, it's almost an out of body experience. last week i was testifying in
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the congress -- for the need for immigration reform, and i was being asked what are we doing to strengthen security at the border, and the very next day, and we have put record amounts of resources into the border, and our border security. the very next day i was in the appropriations committee saying that you're taking and rolling it all back through sequestration. it's really -- [ male announcer ] why is kellogg's crunchy nut so delicious? because every flake is double-toasted... splashed with sweet honey... and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts. mmm. [ hero ] yummy. [ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. it's super delicious! [ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. for over 75 years people ...with geico... ohhh...sorry!. director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so....
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♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. ♪ so today, i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents, for 24 hours. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or can not empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz.
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get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells. toviaz can cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased sweating. do not drive, operate machinery or do unsafe tasks until you know how toviaz affects you. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. talk to your doctor about toviaz. >> and the oscar goes to "argo." congratulations. >> that's ben affleck picking up his best picture oscar for "argo." after michelle obama was the surprise presenter. the movie, of course, is about that daring cia operation to rescue six americans during the iran hostage crisis and they won three oscars last night. before the ceremony secretary of
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state john kerry tweeted him his well wishes and good luck and it's nice seeing our foreign service on the big screen. they knew each other from massachusetts as well as other places. after winning, affleck rushed the favor in a tribute to the state department back stage. >> i think gained further appreciation for that as we shot the movie, visited the state department. i know secretary clinton a little bit and secretary kerry a little bit better, and so we were able to shoot in -- i'm not sure that that's why, but from my sort of distant acquaintanceship with both of those secretaries i've really picked up an appreciation for what the state department does, what our foreign service does, what they sacrifice. >> and, of course, george clooney, the other producer. coming up, to the vatican. another major vatican resignation. just days before the pope officially steps down. we're going live to rome next. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪
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>> in our headlines today on "andrea mitchell reports" a possible generational change in cuba, but not just yet. raul castro has announce thad his new five-year term as president will be his last. naming 52-year-old miguel diaz canal, it is nation's first vice president, as his successor. raul and fidel castro have held political control over cuba for more than five decades. between them history was made today in south korea. another change. the inauguration of the country's first ever woman president. the new leader told south korean citizens that she will keep your nation secure. of course, against a growing nuclear threat in the north from north korea. guess who is attempting a comeback? silvio berlusconi trying to win back his old job in today's presidential election in italy. he was ousted in disgrace. he is an underdog. his chief competition is center left candidate luigi versani and
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pepe rio. he showed up at the polls when he voted yesterday and women took off their tops to reveal enough of sill have i i don't in italian across their chests. well, big news out of the vatican today. pope benedict xvi has now moved up the date of the conclave to gather to elect his successor. as another cardinal is still touched by the continuing sex abuse scandal. nbc's ann thompson joins me from rome with more details. first of all, the timing of the conclave, i know the rules allow the cardinals to move it up. what is he saying? when do you think this will begin? >> that's a good question, andrea. despite the pope's actions today, we still don't know when the conclave will exactly start. what the pope did today is give the cardinals the permission to move up the start date with this provico, that all the cardinal electors, all those cardinals under the age of 80 that will vote for the next pope have to be here to decide on the new start date. so the cardinals will start
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gathering on march 1st, the day after benedict retires, and perhaps they will take a vote, make a decision either march 1st or march 2nd. right now the early date seems to be march 10th, but it's just a guess. nobody is really sure when this conclave is going to get started, and it's very frustrating to many people. >> and what about cardinal o'brien? he is the top british cardinal, and he resigned today. what is the back story on that? >> boy, that was a shock, wasn't it? i mean, just the vatican moving in just warp speed in the last 24 hours about this, andrea. you know, on sunday you had in a british newspaper accusations by three priests and a former priest about inappropriate behavior towards them by cardinal o'brien. he denies it. the pope gets that information yesterday afternoon after his final sunday blessing here in st. peters square, and then this morning it is announced that cardinal o'brien is stepping
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down. in a statement today cardinal o'brien did not address those charges directly. what he did say is that he apologizes to anyone who he offended. >> ann thompson, thanks so much for your continual reporting from the vatican. cardinal theodore mccarrick is the retired archbishop of washington and, of course, was part of the conclave that elected poen benedict xvi back in 2005. he joins me now. your eminence, thank you very much. it is good to see you again. all of these historic changes are, to some, unsettling. what is your feeling when you heard that pope benedict was actually abdicating, or resigning, and that there was going to be this dramatic change. sdmri happened to be in rome when that happened by accident, and almost had a chance to go to where they were discussing the causes of saints. unfortunately, i got in a little late and decided, well, i wasn't going to try to go, and then 15 minutes after that i got a call saying did you hear the pope had resigned, and because it's
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stunning, it's stunning news, it takes you right off your feet. in doing it, he is dish think he has, once again, proven he is a very courageous man and a very, very humble man. you can see in him the desire to serve the church, the desire to take care of people, and he wants to make sure that the best possible minds and the best possible wills are there to do that work. >> now, as someone who has participated in this process, what kind of qualities do you think the cardinals who are voting on this decision would be looking for in the next pontiff? >> well, if i could tell you short story, actually the -- a good deal has all been worked out by a decree that pope john paul ii came up with maybe three years before he died, and the critical moment which is sort of an answer to your question.
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the criminal moment is when each cardinal has the ballot in his hands, and before he puts it in the urn, he has to repeat an oath, and you're standing in front of michelangelo's last judgment, so that wall adds always to the deal. you have this in your hand. you say something like this. i can't translate it exactly from latin. you call upon the lord jesus, my savior, as my witness. he who will judge me. you are looking at the -- he who will judge me that the man i am voting for is the one who under god i believe god wants to be pope. in a certain sense it makes it not any more an election. it makes it a discernment. you are trying to figure out what you think god would want. what man you think god would want for all the needs of the church today. it's a fascinating moment. you do it every time you vote, so it's something -- you never can forget.
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>> well, i never knew that before. you bring this new information that michelangelo's last judgment is there. to call it sobering and prayerful is an understatement. >> yes, exactly. >> a great deal of prayer and meditation must go into this. >> oh, yes. and this is why the conclave is held in a very, very holy time. you go in. you pray. you come out. some talk. some go back to prayer. some will say the rosary walking along. each one has his own way of commuting with this very special moment in their lives. it's very beautiful to watch because you are watching a church at prayer. old men, young men, white, black, every color of the rainbow because the church produces its universe as ality because it's a moment of prayer, and thank god it is. we need god's help to get the right person. >> and does the trouble in the
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church -- we had the resignation today. these are difficult subjects. is that a heavy shadow over this whole process? >> it certainly is a shadow. you can't deny it. when things happen to one of our priests, or bishop or cardinal affects all the rest of us. it's a sad thing when these things happen. i think basically there are many shadows. there are many crisises. there are many difficulties. the world is in crisis. we know that. we need to have meant we are strong enough to make the church a real instrument of peace. those are the things that are on our minds, i think, more than anything else when men go into conclave to try to find out who is the one the lord wants to be the next pope. >> thank you so much for sharing your insights. thank you for being with us today. >> thank you, andrea.
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it's great to be with you. >> thank you. and coming up next, u.s. aid administrator on what the sequester means for foreign aid. he is just back from somalia. andrea mitchell reports live from london. only on msnbc. max and penny kept our bookstore exciting and would always come to my rescue. but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount... and they both loved the taste. after a few months max's "special powers" returned... and i got my hero back. purina cat chow healthy weight. you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me.
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sign up for your free trial today at constantcontact.com/try. today we're proud to announce an additional $20 million commitment to the people of somalia. >> the u.s. only recognized somalia as a government, an official government, for the first time since 1991 in january. now the head of the u.s. agency for international development has just returned from mogadishu to announce new aid for the war-ravaged country. rajid is the most senior official to visit in almost 20 years. he joins me now from washington. thank you so much, raj. good to see you.
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let's fauk about what's happening there, first of all. you bring the promise of $20 million in aid. it's only two years since the famine. yet, we're talking about budget cuts here at home. what do you say to people about the cuts, the affects of the sequester on foreign aid, and on our relationship with these fledgling governments in place like somalia. >> well, thank you, andrea, for having me. you know, my main message is that this is critical to our national security. we were in somalia with -- or at the smoli kenyan border at the refugee camp just about a year and a half ago with dr. joe biden, and we met women who had walked dozens of kilometers through terrorist controlled areas to bring their children to safety in a camp. we saw more than 35,000 children under the age of 5 die in a famine because of a lack of hunger. we saw al shabab, a terrorist group that was trying to attack the united states control vast, vast territories of somali land
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including inmoegdy shu. last week i saw a different picture, enabled because of some of our targeted investments in that country. we've seen more than 400 communities engage in projects with us that are replacing food aid with agriculture, replacing piracy on the coast with small fishing markets so people can have effective forms of work and earning incomes and in mogadishu we're installing street lights and people are engaging in rebuilding a city and a country. this work is deeply a part of our national security in addition to being the morally right thing to do. and the united states helped end a famine, save tens of thousands of kids from dying and today we're holding hands with the partner to fight corruption, do the right things and build a viable state in a country that has been a challenge from a security perspective for our country for nearly two decades
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and proud of our engagement and a critical time to make the smart investments in our neighbors around the world. >> and only yesterday the awards -- there was a clash in a port city, two rival clans. how deeply embedded is the islamic fundamentalists, some with links with al qaeda? how deeply embedded are they still in somalia? >> there's a lot of work to do and we have managed to work with the international community, mostly our xhin partners who fielded a large security force to ensure security and stability. we're today working with people who went to internally displaced persons, camps in mogadishu and camps and giving them seeds and fertilizer to restart their livelihoods and rebuild their own agricultural systems and feed themselves and replace the
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much more costly form of food aid and humanitarian assistance. this is both about their basic dignity and their basic strategy to retake their country from a terrorist organization. as long as those types of organizations control large countries and communities, the united states is going to be at risk so this is a more efficient way of investing in the national security and for me it was very personally rewarding having met some of the mothers who lost their children. i met a mother a year and a half ago who had her young baby wrapped in a blanket because the baby passed away in the morning knowing that u.s. assistance is critical to somalia's long term success and stability has been a point of pride. >> thank you and thanks for everything you're doing. thank you for being with us today. we'll be right back.
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and that does it for this special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" live from london. tamron hall has a look at what's next. >> hi, andrea. great hour. coming up, the clouds over the conclave. the archbishop of los angeles just one of the cardinals who now faces great opposition. he's accused of shielding priests. the head of catholics united, a group accumulating some 10,000 names on a petition for him to recuse himself. will join us. the representative will be the guest and a voting rights challenge. the supreme court set to hear the case for why the feds no longer need to oversee states with a history of voter discrimination. and the onion, the satirical paper, apologizes to the young star it offended. arching band p] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat?
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Andrea Mitchell Reports
MSNBC February 25, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PST

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, U.s. 10, John Kerry 7, Rome 7, Somalia 7, London 6, United States 5, Andrea Mitchell 5, China 5, Lyrica 5, America 5, Cardinal O'brien 4, Michigan 4, Syria 4, Steve Clemons 4, Max 4, Assad 4, Kellogg 3, Washington 3, Libya 3
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